L.A. City Council backs 520-unit apartment complex at Sportsmen’s Lodge site

Rendering of the proposed residential building that would replace the Sportsmen's Lodge hotel.
(Marmol Radziner)

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday backed a developer’s plans to replace the landmark Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City with a 520-unit residential mixed-used development.

The council voted 13 to 1 to deny an appeal of the project, allowing Midwood Investment & Development to demolish the once-popular event center and hotel at Ventura Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon Avenue.

In addition to 520 apartment units, 78 of which would be set aside for low-income tenants, the development will offer 46,000 square feet of commercial space. A bike and pedestrian path along the L.A. River also is planned.


Grocery chain Erewhon, which operates a store on the site, the Studio City Residents Assn. and Unite Here Local 11, which represents hotel workers, sought to stop the project and filed appeals with the city.

Proponents of the development in Studio City say it would bring much-needed affordable housing. Opponents say the developers have not sufficiently weighed the project’s impacts and that it would erase an important piece of history.

April 3, 2024

Some opponents argued that the hotel should be preserved. It was one of the first to unionize in the San Fernando Valley and one of the first union hotels in Los Angeles. Others were concerned about the project’s 97-foot height, the construction noise and the environmental impact.

In its heyday, Sportsmen’s Lodge was a movie studio hangout and a popular venue for weddings, bar mitzvahs and New Year’s parties. The event center and restaurant opened in 1946 and the hotel in 1962.

The hotel permanently closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proponents of the development say it would bring housing to this section of Studio City, which is being targeted for a flurry of new development. Across the river, private school Harvard-Westlake is planning to build an extensive athletic facility.

City Councilmember Hugo Soto-Martinez, a former Unite Here 11 organizer, cast the lone “no” vote. Council President Paul Krekorian was absent from Wednesday’s vote.

Councilmember Nithya Raman, who represents Studio City, had declined to take a position on the development but voted yes at Wednesday’s meeting.